Entrepreneurs can sometimes become carried away by an emotional attachment to their products or services, especially if they created them. They are enthusiastic about their business and have received excellent feedback from friends and relatives.
After advising and training over 3,000 businesses, I’ve discovered that when passion is joined with a plan, success is more likely to arrive (and stay).
What is the marketing mix?
The four Ps, commonly known as The Marketing Mix, should be included in a strategic marketing plan. This consists of four components: product, pricing, location, and promotion. When you analyse the four Ps in this order, a clear path opens up in front of you. The product must meet the needs of the consumer, the pricing is part of the product offering, the geographical footprint in which you operate follows, and ultimately you advertise the item to create inquiries or direct sales.
This might be either a tangible product produced and made by the entrepreneur or a service. In the latter instance, my advise is to “productise your services”. This includes branding each individual service. For example, rather than a strictly descriptive moniker, I refer to my 1:1 marketing consultancy session as a Marketing TurboCharge.
After you’ve decided on a name for your service, you can construct a separate web page with a contact form. After that, you can decide on a pricing system.
The most important product question to evaluate is if there is enough demand. Alternatively, does the consumer or corporate customer have a need that you can meet? One or two sales do not constitute a market.
Remember that almost all items have a natural life cycle. They are born, mature, and then decline and die. You must be adaptive and aware that change is all around you. Plan ahead and invest when things are good. In order to survive when times are tough, you must be innovative with your products and services.
Some other things to think about:
- What are the features and benefits? (create a benefits list)
- Are there product (or productised service) variations, i.e. small, medium and large?
- Do you offer a guarantee?
- Do your products form categories?
- Which of your products work alongside other products, so that you can offer combinations?
When it comes to cost, be cautious. Many small businesses underprice their products and services. Consider the psychological aspects. What message does the pricing convey about the goods or service? Are you getting the most out of your pricing model? Here are some pricing methods to think about.
Freemium pricing: Freemium pricing is more than simply a pricing option; it is a business concept in and of itself. The concept is to advertise a free version of a product or service in order to convert a percentage of users into paying customers. A service provider, for example, could provide a complimentary half-hour of their time. “Free for a month” and “free forever” are two variations.
Loss leader: A pricing plan with the goal of gaining new consumers and market share. In order to acquire market share, the product or service is sold at or below cost.
Market based pricing: A comparative pricing study provides a price point for a product or service. Depending on the marketing plan, this could be lower, the same, or higher than the competitors (i.e. differentiation and positioning).
Pay what you want pricing: The buyer may pay whatever they believe is fair for the product or service. A “floor” price can be established. This pricing technique has been implemented in the music industry as well as by eateries. It has the potential to generate a lot of attention.
Premium pricing: A premium price is established to reflect the exclusivity of the brand and the quality of the product/service. Consider pricey automobiles and timepieces. Surprisingly, shoppers are drawn to more than simply the actual goods. Consider the purchasing experience, as well as excellent service and a variety of extras.
Self-liquidating pricing (SLP): The goal of self-liquidating pricing (SLP) is to recover your costs. SLP can be used to offer a trial version of a product, a book, or a seminar spot.
Value based pricing: This pricing strategy is commonly utilised by high-end software businesses. The concept is to base the price on the product’s value to the client in terms of benefits gained.
Will you only market your products/productised services yourself or will you enlist the help of partner organisations?
Ask yourself: who could recommend us? Would money need to change hands? If the answer is yes, then you are looking at some form of distributorship arrangement. By the way, it is surprising how many people will recommend you, if you ask them to do so.
Are you marketing locally, within a city or region, a part of the country, the entire nation or internationally? Your choice will impact your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) strategy and many other aspects of promotion.
There are almost 300 different techniques to market your products or services. I asked thousands of business owners to describe the many methods they use to “get the word out” about what they do. Surprisingly, the average number that they come up with is four. For example, a corporation selling to other businesses might use the following channels: website, LinkedIn, networking, and telephone sales. Website, Facebook ads, Instagram ads, and email marketing are all options for a corporation selling to consumers.
Advertising, books and booklets, celebrity endorsement, channel marketing, corporate clothing (hats, T-shirts, jackets, etc), corporate hospitality, direct mail, email marketing, events, networking, packaging, printed matter (including leaflets, brochures, and business cards), PR, professional selling, promotional gifts, retail, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), social media, sponsorship, videos, websites, and word of mouth mark are among the 37 promotional categories.
Entrepreneurs may not have a lot of money to spend on advertising. The good news is that a significant number of advertising strategies are either inexpensive or free, albeit they do take time to deploy (who needs sleep anyway?)
A vital point to consider is whether you enjoy writing, because the written word runs through promotion like the word Brighton runs through a piece of rock. If you enjoy writing, you will enjoy working on web pages, blogs, essays, and press releases. If not, you could seek training or outsource the task.
Origin of the marketing mix
The marketing mix concept was developed after WWII by marketing professor James Culliton, who taught at Harvard. E. Jerome McCarthy coined the contemporary version of the phrase. Phillip Kotler was instrumental in popularising the 4 Ps approach.
An expanded marketing mix model has also been developed, which incorporates the seven Ps: product, price, location, promotion, packaging, positioning, and people.
Why the marketing mix matters
I understand how busy you are. Can’t being a business owner take over your life? I recommend that you set out some time each month to stand back from the day-to-day conflict and look at the larger picture. I hope you found this post on marketing mix useful and that it will become a part of your marketing thinking.